When we work as leaders there is a temptation to constantly do our best for others, and forget the vital art of self-care. And make no mistake, great leadership requires commitment, energy and focus. But when your role is subject to endless pressure and a series of challenges, it’s very easy to become burned out. How can you be a truly great leader, consistently, if you don’t look after yourself?
If you are feeling the weight of the world and no longer springing through your office door with enthusiasm, then it’s time to take care of yourself as a leader as well as others. This is even more vital if you have other important roles beyond work such as caring for a family.
So what can you do to fight back and regain your leadership mojo? Try these techniques:
Homeworking has meant that our boundaries have become even more blurred. If you are juggling work with home life, and constantly blurring the lines, set clear boundaries. Set hard stops for clocking off or answering emails, know when to say ‘enough’ for the day and ideally have a clear space for your working life. Equally, when you are working, focus and be present, rather than attempting to juggle different things. Time for work. Time for family life. Time for you. Communicate your boundaries so others are clear.
Walk around the block. Dance to your favourite song. Make a cup of tea and stare out into the garden for a bit. Whatever revives you, schedule in time for it during the day. Perhaps set a 90-minute block of work with 15-minute breaks in between.
Look after yourself
If you aren’t sleeping, eating well, exercising and doing all the things that you KNOW you need to do, then now is the time to prioritise your health. Try five minutes of meditation, a little yoga in the morning or a good walk. Small bites of healthy living will have real benefits and feel less daunting than an ‘all or nothing’ approach.
Reach out to the people who lift you up. This may mean making a phone call, having a chat over coffee or heading to an exercise class together. This time is vital and will really build you up again.
Talk to others
Talk to your team about this topic and get their ideas and input into how you can all work together effectively to enjoy the best possible working life. Ask for feedback, create a culture of open and inclusive communication and show your human side. You don’t need to be a robot to be a great leader – in fact, the more ‘human’ and relatable you can be, the better. Remember too to respect the boundaries that your team set for themselves and learn about them, as well as setting and communicating your own.
For personalised, expert support in creating the best possible work-life balance for your own goals and needs, contact Sarah J today. As a highly experienced career coach, I can help you to identify the blockers that are holding you back and plan the easiest route to achieve your goals – happily and without stress or burnout!